They’re not much of a thing anymore, but back in the day the only real way to play the latest and hottest video games was to hit the arcade. You’d drop a quarter in a machine and it’d let you play until you ran out of lives. You might see the concern here, since there’s definitely an incentive to make the games harder to ensure you’d die and have to pay to play again…and, well, that’s pretty much exactly what happened! Whether you remember this fondly or not probably depends on you, but it definitely informed the video game experience for decades.
Ghosts n’ Goblins Resurrection definitely brings those long gone days to mind, though at least you don’t have to drop another quarter every time you want to try again – a good thing, as otherwise you’d go broke.
Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection delivers exactly on the promise of its name: resurrecting Capcom’s classic Ghosts and Ghosts (and Ghouls and Ghosts) with original director Tokuro Fujiwara on hand to make it all official. A plot? Who needs it? The princess has been captured by bad guys and it’s up to Arthur to save her! She probably should’ve looked for a better rescuer, honestly. Arthur’s a little bit frail, a little bit slow, a little bit weak and more than a little bit dead. He’s even got strawberry boxers. Anyway, he’s got to explore the demon world to find her and save her. He’s got an uphill battle ahead of him.
On his quest to save the princess, Arthur’s going to have to traverse a variety of terrifying stages geared with just his armor, his trusty boxers and whatever weapon he manages to pick up. Your armor will probably get popped off sooner or later from an enemy hit, so get used to seeing our hero in his skivvies. As for weapons, they range from the straight-shooting lance and dagger to the arc-flying holy water, while there’s other, more esoteric options like a spiked ball and crossbow that are available somewhat less often. Mastering your weapons is vital, though you’ll also want to be careful and avoid picking up armaments that don’t suit the situation.
Make no mistake: this game hates you. It’s raw brutality packed into video game form. Arthur dies in two hits on a good day, assuming you’re not playing on one of the easier difficulty levels (that’s not what you came for, right?), and there’s no shortage of enemies ready to dish out those hits. Arthur’s weapons all have little flaws designed to ensure that you can’t quite kill those enemies as easily as you’d hope. Oh, there’s also pits, traps and various other forms of nastiness scattered throughout each level, ready to grind you into the dust if you somehow manage to get past the baddies.
There’s a new skill tree system designed to offer a little bit of help, offering magic spells and buffs in exchange for hard-to-catch bees found throughout each level. These help, but only a bit, and victory is going to have to come from constant practice and dedication to mastering each stage. It’s a joke these days that game journalists compare every remotely difficult game to Dark Souls, but I’m going to break from that trend and say that Ghosts n’ Goblins is absolutely, undeniably harder. Have fun!
If you’re willing to stick with Resurrection’s sadistic gameplay, you’ll be pleased by how much love went into how it looks, feels and plays. This game is uncompromisingly old-school. Yes, Arthur controls like a tank, but he always did, so get used to it or get ready to get stomped. Even if you’re getting stomped, though, you’re likely to appreciate just how beautiful this game is. It’s got a sort of Vanillaware feel to it without diverging too hard from the comically dark fantasy feel of the series.
The usual hard-game warnings apply here: if you just want to chill and enjoy a goofy jump-and-shoot adventure, well, Ghosts n’ Goblins Resurrection might itch your scratch …but the easier difficulties are definitely not what you’re here for. Like its predecessors, this is the kind of game that wants you to slam your face into the brick wall of its difficulty to earn your win, which in turn makes any victory that much sweeter. If that sounds like a plan, well, Ghosts n’ Goblins Resurrection is here for you! Otherwise, you might want to look into something a tad more forgiving. Like pretty much anything else.